by: Bill Willis
When nine-year-old Tommy Barnes uncovers a magic pen hidden among old school supplies, he is thrust into an artistic adventure. Not only can the pen draw marvelous pictures, it can think and talk. The two become best friends. At first Tommy is able to keep his magical friend Peter a secret, but a careless oversight leads to Peter’s discovery, first by his parents, then by his teacher, and eventually by the entire school. Tension reaches it’s peak when Peter reveals to Tommy that he is running out of ink and can only draw one more picture. After one final picture, Tommy will have to draw pictures on his own, using his own hidden talent – his inner “spark.” Will he be able to do it?
This e-book features Virtual Reading Coach Technology developed by Michelle Willis, M.Ed. Using the story as a basis for teaching upper-elementary and early middle school students various techniques for “Close Reading,” Ms. Stinson guides readers chapter by chapter to master required reading skills. Included in the close reading challenges are making predictions, determining the purpose for a text, figuring out word meanings in context, learning the elements of setting and plot, making inferences based on clues from the text, identifying the five elements of a plot, understanding open endings, and writing alternate endings for a story.